Best Way to Store Four Cycle Mower Engine over the Winter?

Manual that came with mower reccomends that I run engine till dry.
Briggs and Straton website recommends that I fill gas tank with freash gas and gas stablizer and store mower that way.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks.
Bruce
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Bruce K. wrote:

unheated shed over the winter. Between the last mowing in the fall and the first in spring could be 6 or 7 months. I neither run the mower dry, nor add stabilizer, and it always starts up in the spring (it may need a spray of starting fluid the first time). The garden tractor mower is used all winter with a snow blower attachment, and that is kept in an unheated, but insulated, attached garage all winter, so that the control cables don't freeze up.
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From what I hear, manufacturers are slowly moving to changing their recomendations on this.
All used to recomend draining the gas.
Emptying the gas, or putting fresh with stabilizer both server the purpose of preventing gas from turning into varnish like gunk, but apparantly keeping the stabilized fuel in the system prevents rubber seal, hoses and other rubber parts from drying out and cracking.
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I would change the oil and add stabilizer to the gas. Best way to do this is to add stabilizer to the last can of gas for the season. That way, you know there will be stabilizer in the gas whenever the last mowing happens to be. It's also is a good idea to remove the spark plug and spray some engine fogging or other light oil in, then crank it over a few times. That will prevent any rusting inside the cylinder. If the plug looks diry or is more than a couple years old, that's a good time to replace it.
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Chet Hayes wrote:

that shed without stabilizer or any other winterizing.
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Dude, got any lottery tips for me, you are obviously a lucky man if you have gone 20 years without winterizing and never having any trouble.. maybe I could just rub your tummy for luck..
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rotation slim wrote:

filter cartridge (I do clean them if I sense the motor isn't running right). Actually, I'm hoping it dies by itself so I can get a new one with a little more options. As long as it's still running, I can't justify spending a few hundred $$$ for a new one. All in all, for a 20 YO, 22" Craftsman with a 4 HP engine, I have no complaints.
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Much depends on the climate. I never do anything with my mower in Colorado and I don't know of anyone who does even when storing in a garage that never gets below freezing. In Minnesota where the temperature may not get much above freezing all winter I doubt that anyone would have problems. However, storage in a warm climate is different. I drain all the gas out of my snowblower and squirt some oil in the cylinder.
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I always run them dry, and it's always worked for me. Condensation might be the reason for filling/stabilizing.
Bob
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Bruce K. wrote:

You're safe either way with the gas. Just make sure you use stabilizer if you keep the gas in the tank. If you don't, it may start next season, but eventually the varnish will build and gunk up the carb.
I'd recommend the other poster's info - adding oil in the spark hole. Several manufacturers advise this.
Pour 1-2 tablespoons in the hole, replace the plug, and pull the starter cord a couple of times. When the starter cord hits the most resistance - STOP, and let go. This means the valves are closed and it's ready to store.
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On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 08:25:53 -0400, Bruce K.

In this order, add stabilizer to gas, top off gas to full, run engine till HOT. ( oil must be hot, could take a while), replace oil with fresh oil. Run engine again until hot. Top off gas tank again. Done. Don';t be tempted to start it once in a while. Won't do any good. if it has an electric starter you might want to hook up the battery to some battery-maintainer. Not sure why they want a full tank instead of emptying it. Probably because it is easier to do ? With metal fuel tanks they usually do it to prevent rust on the inside of the tank. your mower probably ha sa plastic tank. Might also do the sparkplug/oil-spray thing that someone else here suggested.
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wrote:

Good advice.
Just curious. Why run the engine to hot after changing the oil? I've never done it and none of the manuals I've read suggest it for winter (long term) storage. Just a couple of pulls on the cord should distribute the oil throughout the engine.
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When you drain the engine oil, there's always some old oil left in it. By running the engine with new fresh oil, all old oil will get mixed with the new, and any potential harmful residue will be diluted and mixed into the 'good' oil. It's extreme, and you can probably get away with just putting in fresh oil if you store it for just the winter. However, for longer terms I would do it.
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